Epilepsy Res 2012 Jun 13;100(1-2):168-78. Epub 2012 Mar 13.
Department of Pediatrics, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.
Functional resting-state connectivity has been shown to be altered in certain adult epilepsy populations, but few connectivity studies have been performed on pediatric epilepsy patients. Here functional connectivity was measured in pediatric, non-lesional temporal lobe epilepsy patients with normal intelligence and compared with that in age and gender-matched healthy controls using the independent component analysis method. We hypothesized that children with non-lesional temporal lobe epilepsy have disrupted functional connectivity within resting-state networks. Significant differences were demonstrated between the two groups, pointing to a decrease in connectivity. When the results were analyzed according to the interictal electroencephalogram findings, however, the connectivity disruptions were seen in different networks. In addition, increased connectivity and abnormally anti-correlated thalamic activity was detected only in the patients with abnormal electroencephalograms. In summary, connectivity disruptions are already to be seen at an early stage of epilepsy, and epileptiform activity seems to affect connectivity differently. The results indicate that interictal epileptiform activity may lead to reorganization of the resting-state brain networks, but further studies would be needed in order to understand the pathophysiology behind this phenomenon.